Least Necessary Advertisements Ever, By The State Comptroller's Office

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The state comptroller's office found itself in an unaccustomed spotlight last week with its fiasco of a rebate program.

Consumers could trade in their clunker appliances for energy-efficient replacements and sign up for rebates, was the plan. The reality was that the private firm handling the process was utterly overwhelmed, frustrating Lord knows how many Texans who were frantically calling or refreshing web pages trying to get a piece of the pie.

About 33,000 reservations were made, meaning people had asked for the rebate on that many appliances. Another 58,000 reservations went on a waiting list by Friday before things shut down.

So you'd think the last thing the comptroller's office would need to be doing is advertising the program on the radio this week. But they are.

Radio ads are energetically extolling the wonders of the program that you'd think comptroller Susan Coombs would be looking to sweep under the rug as quickly as possible.

This would be like Toyota having an "Accelerate for Savings!!" ad campaign.

Coombs spokesman R.J. DeSilva tells Hair Balls that the ads are not intended to attract new applicants; instead they are simply reminding those on the waiting list that they have until the end of this week to make their purchases in order to qualify.

If someone on the already approved list "drops out or doesn't use their reservation," DeSilva said, a person on the waiting list would move up.

So yeah -- if you've got waiting list No. 54,948 -- this ad's for you!!

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